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Letter to mental health therapists: Important considerations as you vote

The following letter was mailed and emailed to KP Northern California mental health therapists June 26 from Janet Liang, President, Northern California Region, KFH/HP; and Deborah Royalty, Chief Administrative Officer, TPMG:

After a year of bargaining, capped by several weeks of real, meaningful progress, we have developed a comprehensive contract offer for your ratification. We are disappointed by the recommendation of your union to reject our comprehensive proposal, which reflects input from NUHW’s bargaining team, and instead, continue negotiations for the foreseeable future and needlessly postpone improvements that everyone deserves.

We’ve heard that the union doesn’t trust that management is sincere in improving workloads and patient access. Therefore, to demonstrate our commitment, we are moving forward with bringing in relief staffing through temporary positions and agency resources — despite not knowing the outcome of the ratification vote.

In addition, we have accelerated recruitment strategies to fill our 100+ open positions.

Our offer addresses your personal and professional interests and will relieve many of your immediate concerns and daily challenges. It includes significant, meaningful provisions to address staffing, scheduling, and compensation improvements and the commitment to a collaborative effort to redesign the mental health model of care. Our offer is also accompanied by several initiatives we are already undertaking to increase the number of mental health professionals and improve our treatment spaces.

We urge you to vote in favor of ratification of the proposal, so we can move forward with implementing a full range of staffing and salary improvements, and many more enhancements.

For your reference, we’ve included a flyer that highlights the benefits of our offer. You also can view this information online at

We continue to meet with patient advocates who are sharing valuable insights that we are implementing, including a grant to expand the evidence-based ASPIRE model of coordinated specialty care in the Bay Area. We have also joined the Mental Health 2020 advocacy initiative led by the Kennedy Forum to raise awareness of the need for federal mental health funding and policy reform.

There is so much under way and we are excited about moving forward — we want you with us every step of the way as we transform mental health care together.

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